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  • Sealion 'Narrow Front' Feasibility (yes, I know, just read the OP before ignoring)

    Ok ACG folk, I'm here to ask you all a big favour. I realise that even the hint of another 'Sealion' thread is enough to leave some of you curled up in a ball on the bed muttering something about German naval weakness (looking at you Full Monty). Under other circumstances I wouldn't dream of launching yet another of these, but I need your help.

    I have allowed myself to get dragged into a 'Sealion' debate on another forum. The guy I am debating against has thrown out the 'Narrow Front' option as a viable alternative for Germany to attempt. While I have some experience arguing on Sealion, I would have to do a lot of research to reach the levels of expertise possessed by some people here. I have told this guy that rather than debating me he should bring this idea to a forum where people are better informed - this forum. I suggested I would set up a thread for him. He has accepted my challenge and plans to join now the thread is up.

    Just to be clear, this guy is a determined debater, but he isn't the standard 'Sealion nut'. He understands the difficulty of the whole thing & the power of the Royal Navy. He can be persuaded by the presentation of solid facts. I'm hoping that some of the better informed posters here will be able to do this in short order - I'm not expecting anything like a repeat of the last few threads on this.

    These are some quotes I have lifted from this gentleman's side of our debates to give you a sense of the arguments being put forth. I have to make it clear that I have monkeyed a little with these to try to make them seem a bit more coherent. I'm hoping my friend will turn up to present a more coherent idea of what he thinks feasible and that some of you will be able to point out the flaws in his thinking.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Raeder's narrow front option would have been the wiser choice for the Germans. They had enough fast steamers and ferry's to make quick trips supporting a single bridgehead based on Folkstone. Using a single port approach and the faster channel boats v barges cuts down the crossing time considerably. A steamer at 10 knots can cross the channel in 3-4 hours.
    Now argue against the plan the KM actually wanted- single beachhead based on Folkstone. The RN is under Luftwaffe controlled skies from the Northern tip of Scotland all the way to the Eastern Approaches and into the channel itself. Those destroyer packs have some major obstacles to over come. First Scapa Flow is 700km+ from Folkstone if traveling a direct path on the waves. A high speed dash down from Scotland zig zagging to avoid subs and air attacks leaves a lot of British destroyers without any fuel at all when they arrive in the invasion area. Second, Bomber command is a joke in 1940, its bombers have been trashed in France and over Germany, few remain and they lack a useful doctrine. Bombing your own civilians at night on the off chance you might kill a German isn't feasible. Thirdly, a battle to save the RN ensures the RAF fights over the water. That means up to 958 fighter pilots (number of hurricanes and Spitfires knocked down) not the historical 317 pilots are gone forever. That is almost every fighter pilot in the RAF after the Fall of France. To this the loss of 128 other British air craft during the BoB will also climb as German fighters get to swat at British bombers. Fourth a dash across the channel in July means long days for the Luftwaffe and short nights for Bomber command. It also means the British army is still mostly disorganized and under-equipped.
    Depends, the Germans landed on six different beaches in Norway plus 3 airfields. Not the massive landings the Heer plan called or seen in Overlord for but regiment and brigade sized landings. Something similar at Folkstone (and possibly) Dover is doable. I don't British defenses are not up to it.

    Granted the Folkstone plan was risky in its own right, the harbor was limited. A quick search of ebay.com to look at old post cards of Folkstone harbor show it could handle good sized freighters and liners, and based on WWI freight totals could load/unload 20,000 tons a month in an undamaged state. But it would not be undamaged and 5000 tons a month might be too much. It would be Norway v2.0 using warships and merchies to land troops straight on to the docks. The upsides are no barges, no 30 hours at sea, ample air cover for daylight crossings....
    The British army in July 1940 was a joke, the RN and RAF would have gotten clobbered opposing the Folkstone plan- Britain teeters.... the victory will be decided by strength of the British government. If the army suffers another set back/ defeat on top of Norway, Belgium, Dunkirk and the RN and RAF have failed the government might collapse. If they did in, its Gallipolli red
    You left out 'sufficient air transport'. They were still short after the Low Countries. They still had 3-400 Ju-52's and half the numbers lost in Holland would or had returned to service. The critical shortage was in gliders not transports. The German answer was to use paras to seize airfields and then fly in light infantry divisions. Given British weakness in the South, I doubt the air heads could ahve been over run before the beachhead expanded to it.

    Crete showed just how inept British defensive schemes against paras were. It was a new game and everyone was still learning the rules.
    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

  • #2
    I am that gentleman.

    I will lay out my position which is not to say that Sealion was doable, only that the plan proposed by Raider had a much better chance of achieving something that may in the combined aggregate of factors lead to a political crisis in Britain and thus a peace.

    (plus side)
    1. Raider wanted to base the assault on Folkstone
    2. The KM had recent experience using small warships and steamers to assault ports.
    3. Folkstone was not blocked by Blockship until July 29
    4. Enough paras and transports remained to do a single good size push in Southern England
    5. The British Army is in shambles, disorganized, demoralized, under equipped, using a faulty doctrine and lead by a deeply shaken leadership.
    6. Churchill is new in office and his force of personality is not yet cemented.
    7. Folkstone's location means any RN sortie in the daylight needs the RAF to fight over water where if historic BoB loss rates transfer the shortage of British pilots puts the RAF in to a quick death spiral.
    8. Bomber command is in shock, its doctrine for both tactical and strategic bombing failed in Germany and France with massive losses.
    9. The RAF largely lacks a tactical bomber
    10. Both sides have torpedo detonator issues.
    11. July gives the Luftwaffe long days to fly in.
    12. After Dynamo and Norway plus the operations through June the RN is battered down a carrier, a couple of cruisers, 22 destroyers and numerous other small armed naval vessels. While not all the destroyers are total losses and the cruisers will return to duty as well the shock factor has not worn off. (74 Sandhurst exercise had the RN pulling everything bigger than a light cruiser out)
    14. RN force sin the Western Approaches would have to run a lethal gauntlet to reach the beach head.
    15. smaller than destroyer type warships are near equal numbers.
    16. Single port concentrates Germany's pipsqueak naval assets.
    17. The British did not begin systematic destruction of Folkstone's harbor facilities.
    18. Enigma isn't broken yet.
    19. German Army believes in itself.
    20. Hitler is still mostly deferring to the professionals.

    (minus side)
    1. The British might be able to carry out hasty port destruction
    2. The defenders are somewhat entrenched.
    3. Maltida II
    4. France is still in the fight until 22 June.
    5. Holland saw the Luftwaffe lose a lot of its Ju-52 transports
    6. Some RN destroyer packs are only 3-4 hours from Folkstone
    7. Getting reinforcements and resupply across the channel won't be easy. Even trading 1 for 1 each German warship lost gives a greater edge to the RN.
    8. Churchill may be able to keep Parliament in the fight through sheer force of will.
    9. Things might go very badly for the paras and air landing infantry.
    10. The Germans cannot afford to have transports sunk at the quays.
    11a. Hitler, meddling and thus failing to exploit any success on the beach in order to give the UK time to accept terms.
    11b. Hitler advancing his own plan to exploit the beachhead
    12. OKH fighting with Raider and Goering
    13. Goering fighting with Raider and OKH
    14. FDR and what ever rabbits he can pull out of hats to keep the UK in the war.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well from my point of view the basic idea moves the likley hood of landing from non existent to slim.

      it still has some of the same issues that the big sealion does.
      Air cover the luftwaffe controling the skies over all the north sea is news to me and they were still less then stellar performers at air to ship bombing due to lack of practice or training.
      The fleet isn't all in Scotland there are destroyers and cruisers in the Thames estuary and the Humber as well as Portsmouth and plymouth
      There aren't enough u boats to stop all the ships that are coming
      The german paras and transport have been badly beasted.

      In it's favour the army is in a state of chaos after Dunkirk but it is rapidly recovering but it's still poorly equipped.

      The main issue is the harbour at folkstone is it big enough to support the troops the Germans want to land? I'd say it takes the chances of getting ashore from none to remotely possible. But its a plan that relies on capturing the port intact and then being able to keep it that way and that isn't likley.




      The Even carrying it out in June? Maybe especially carrying it out in June.
      "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome to the board.

        Originally posted by zraver View Post
        I am that gentleman.

        I will lay out my position which is not to say that Sealion was doable, only that the plan proposed by Raider had a much better chance of achieving something that may in the combined aggregate of factors lead to a political crisis in Britain and thus a peace.

        (plus side)
        1. Raider wanted to base the assault on Folkstone
        2. The KM had recent experience using small warships and steamers to assault ports.
        3. Folkstone was not blocked by Blockship until July 29
        4. Enough paras and transports remained to do a single good size push in Southern England
        5. The British Army is in shambles, disorganized, demoralized, under equipped, using a faulty doctrine and lead by a deeply shaken leadership.
        6. Churchill is new in office and his force of personality is not yet cemented.
        7. Folkstone's location means any RN sortie in the daylight needs the RAF to fight over water where if historic BoB loss rates transfer the shortage of British pilots puts the RAF in to a quick death spiral.
        8. Bomber command is in shock, its doctrine for both tactical and strategic bombing failed in Germany and France with massive losses.
        9. The RAF largely lacks a tactical bomber
        10. Both sides have torpedo detonator issues.
        11. July gives the Luftwaffe long days to fly in.
        12. After Dynamo and Norway plus the operations through June the RN is battered down a carrier, a couple of cruisers, 22 destroyers and numerous other small armed naval vessels. While not all the destroyers are total losses and the cruisers will return to duty as well the shock factor has not worn off. (74 Sandhurst exercise had the RN pulling everything bigger than a light cruiser out)
        14. RN force sin the Western Approaches would have to run a lethal gauntlet to reach the beach head.
        15. smaller than destroyer type warships are near equal numbers.
        16. Single port concentrates Germany's pipsqueak naval assets.
        17. The British did not begin systematic destruction of Folkstone's harbor facilities.
        18. Enigma isn't broken yet.
        19. German Army believes in itself.
        20. Hitler is still mostly deferring to the professionals.

        (minus side)
        1. The British might be able to carry out hasty port destruction
        2. The defenders are somewhat entrenched.
        3. Maltida II
        4. France is still in the fight until 22 June.
        5. Holland saw the Luftwaffe lose a lot of its Ju-52 transports
        6. Some RN destroyer packs are only 3-4 hours from Folkstone
        7. Getting reinforcements and resupply across the channel won't be easy. Even trading 1 for 1 each German warship lost gives a greater edge to the RN.
        8. Churchill may be able to keep Parliament in the fight through sheer force of will.
        9. Things might go very badly for the paras and air landing infantry.
        10. The Germans cannot afford to have transports sunk at the quays.
        11a. Hitler, meddling and thus failing to exploit any success on the beach in order to give the UK time to accept terms.
        11b. Hitler advancing his own plan to exploit the beachhead
        12. OKH fighting with Raider and Goering
        13. Goering fighting with Raider and OKH
        14. FDR and what ever rabbits he can pull out of hats to keep the UK in the war.
        "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

        Comment


        • #5
          The narrow front ‘Sealion’ suggestion does seem to raise its head from time to time, so what follows are a series of facts, without any further interpretation, which may be considered relevant. Personally, I believe that Halder hit the nail squarely on the head when he expressed the view that the narrow front option was akin to putting the troops through a meat grinder!

          1). A pre-war RN destroyer of the A-I class had a range of 3500 nm at 15 knots. Granted, they were short-legged by comparison with US destroyers of the same vintage, but even at full speed from Scapa they would hardly have been short of fuel. In fact, the distance from Scapa is irrelevant in any case, as the bulk of the RN destroyer and light cruiser anti-invasion forces were based between the Nore and Portsmouth. By Mid-September, there were 40 destroyers, 5 (allied) torpedo boats, 19 MTBs, and 3 light cruisers within 4 hours’ steaming of the Straits of Dover, with a further 16 destroyers, 5 light cruisers, and 11 MTBs at Plymouth and the Humber.

          2). In mid-September, 1940, the Kriegsmarine had 7 operational Type 2 U-boats, 13 operational Type 7s, and 7 operational Type 9s. A further 3 Type 2s, 4 Type 7s, and 3 Type 9s, were working up, with 13 Type 2s and 1 Type 7 in use as training boats. The situation would have been worse in July, because in August & September 4 boats were lost and 10 commissioned. U-boats had been completely ineffective against the Aerial and Cycle evacuation convoys, the large Type 9s were unsuitable for operations in confined seas, and the very idea that boats would have been deployed to intercept fleet destroyers runs directly contrary to German practice. It could be considered akin to sending rabbits out to hunt foxes.

          3). Folkestone harbour, fully operational, could handle 600 tons per day, which would just have been sufficient to supply two infantry divisions. However, consider exactly how operational Folkestone would have been. The comparison with Norway is not really valid: the invasion forces were attacking a country which was not only neutral, but hoping to remain so, and was thus caught wholly unprepared. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of the British defenders in the Summer of 1940 might have been, one thing they were not was unprepared for invasion. The idea that German freighters could simply steam unchallenged into a defended port and calmly start using dockside equipment to unload troops, equipment, and stores, does not really have any credibility.

          4). In Mid-August, Luftwaffe records show some 226 transport aircraft of all types on strength. Not all of these were Ju52s, nor were they all operational. Thus, even if the Germans had an airborne division available in July 1940, (and the casualties from the campaigns in the Low Countries and France had not, in fact, been made good), then the most they could hope to land as a first-wave assault would be 3000 men. As the full complement of such a division would have been 17000 men, consider how many drops would have been required simply to get this division onto the ground. Furthermore, whilst the transport aircraft are ferrying paratroops, they cannot also be bringing supplies, and once the British know where the initial air landings have been made, they will surely take countermeasures, both against the ferrying aircraft and against the lightly equipped ground troops.

          5). Bomber Command was unlikely to have been a direct factor in anti-invasion operations. In the event of an assault, Bomber Command would have carried out night attacks against embarkation ports, and left the field clear for the RN to operate against invasion forces at sea.

          6). The Luftwaffe, contrary to the popular legend, was not, at least in 1940, particularly adept at hitting warships at sea. Their performance at Dunkirk was poor, in that they failed utterly to prevent the evacuation, and even failed to inflict upon the RN losses which could in any way be considered critical.

          7). Whether a narrow front in July, or a broader front in September, one impossibility remains : RESUPPLY
          Last edited by Doveton Sturdee; 27 May 12, 12:22.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
            Air cover the luftwaffe controling the skies over all the north sea is news to me and they were still less then stellar performers at air to ship bombing due to lack of practice or training.
            That is a myth, the Luftwaffe has by the end of June 1940 sunk a number of destroyers, damaged cruisers, sunk a number of larger non-armed vessels and over a 100 small vessels.

            The main issue is the harbor at Folkstone is it big enough to support the troops the Germans want to land? I'd say it takes the chances of getting ashore from none to remotely possible. But its a plan that relies on capturing the port intact and then being able to keep it that way and that isn't likely.
            Folkstone is a major harbor at the time, it was the primary shipping point for the men of the BEF in WWI. Numbers of men shipped, ships served, tonnage moved during WWI if a fairly direct transfer to 1940 mean the port in an undamaged state can handle at a minimum 52 vessels a day including at least two large ships (seen in period post cards possibly more), 6800 men a day, 733 tons of freight a day. The Port can handle a lot more than that on a short term basis as far as vessel and men go as Folkstone played a major role in Dynamo.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
              The narrow front ‘Sealion’ suggestion does seem to raise its head from time to time, so what follows are a series of facts, without any further interpretation, which may be considered relevant. Personally, I believe that Halder hit the nail squarely on the head when he expressed the view that the narrow front option was akin to putting the troops through a meat grinder!
              Political quotes mean little, he was pushing the OKH plan.

              1). A pre-war RN destroyer of the A-I class had a range of 3500 nm at 15 knots. Granted, they were short-legged by comparison with US destroyers of the same vintage, but even at full speed from Scapa they would hardly have been short of fuel. In fact, the distance from Scapa is irrelevant in any case, as the bulk of the RN destroyer and light cruiser anti-invasion forces were based between the Nore and Portsmouth. By Mid-September, there were 40 destroyers, 5 (allied) torpedo boats, 19 MTBs, and 3 light cruisers within 4 hours’ steaming of the Straits of Dover, with a further 16 destroyers, 5 light cruisers, and 11 MTBs at Plymouth and the Humber.
              1. A destroyer at max speed cuts its range by 2/3rds, add in the added distance due to zig zagging and range is a very real problem for ships in Scotland.

              2. In early July the number of British destroyers is just past low ebb at 50 or so in home waters.

              3. The ships to the West of Folkstone are at risk of air attack even in port, and can only sail with the tides.

              2). In mid-September, 1940, the Kriegsmarine had 7 operational Type 2 U-boats, 13 operational Type 7s, and 7 operational Type 9s. A further 3 Type 2s, 4 Type 7s, and 3 Type 9s, were working up, with 13 Type 2s and 1 Type 7 in use as training boats. The situation would have been worse in July, because in August & September 4 boats were lost and 10 commissioned. U-boats had been completely ineffective against the Aerial and Cycle evacuation convoys, the large Type 9s were unsuitable for operations in confined seas, and the very idea that boats would have been deployed to intercept fleet destroyers runs directly contrary to German practice. It could be considered akin to sending rabbits out to hunt foxes.
              The subs don't have to sink a single ship, they force ships responding to waste fuel and time.

              3). Folkestone harbour, fully operational, could handle 600 tons per day, which would just have been sufficient to supply two infantry divisions. However, consider exactly how operational Folkestone would have been. The comparison with Norway is not really valid: the invasion forces were attacking a country which was not only neutral, but hoping to remain so, and was thus caught wholly unprepared. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of the British defenders in the Summer of 1940 might have been, one thing they were not was unprepared for invasion. The idea that German freighters could simply steam unchallenged into a defended port and calmly start using dockside equipment to unload troops, equipment, and stores, does not really have any credibility.
              True, but neither did the British begin serious prep until after Dynamo and they made no preparatory destruction of the facilities.

              4). In Mid-August, Luftwaffe records show some 213 transport aircraft of all types on strength. Not all of these were Ju52s, nor were they all operational. Thus, even if the Germans had an airborne division available in July 1940, (and the casualties from the campaigns in the Low Countries and France had not, in fact, been made good), then the most they could hope to land as a first-wave assault would be 3000 men. As the full complement of such a division would have been 17000 men, consider how many drops would have been required simply to get this division onto the ground. Furthermore, whilst the transport aircraft are ferrying paratroops, they cannot also be bringing supplies, and once the British know where the initial air landings have been made, they will surely take countermeasures, both against the ferrying aircraft and against the lightly equipped ground troops.
              I believe numbers in June July are over 300.


              6). The Luftwaffe, contrary to the popular legend, was not, at least in 1940, particularly adept at hitting warships at sea. Their performance at Dunkirk was poor, in that they failed utterly to prevent the evacuation, and even failed to inflict upon the RN losses which could in any way be considered critical.
              From May-July 1940 1/4 of the destroyers in the home fleet were sunk or damaged through air attack or collision to avoid air attack...

              7). Whether a narrow front in July, or a broader front in September, one impossibility remains : RESUPPLY.
              This is a point I concede in my initial post. Germany faces a very real prospect of defeat via logistics.

              Comment


              • #8
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by DARKPLACE
                Air cover the luftwaffe controling the skies over all the north sea is news to me and they were still less then stellar performers at air to ship bombing due to lack of practice or training.

                Originally posted by zraver View Post
                That is a myth, the Luftwaffe has by the end of June 1940 sunk a number of destroyers, damaged cruisers, sunk a number of larger non-armed vessels and over a 100 small vessels.
                I'm skeptical. The hard numbers I've collected show a 'sunk' rate of one cargo ship per fifty sorties during the Kannalkampf or Channel anti shipping battle during August 1940. The hit rate with noticeable damage alls out at about one per twentyfive. This is fairly unimpressive against slow cargo ships with relatively low levels of AAA protection and crews unskilled at damage control. At their peak in mid 1942 the IJN carrier aircrews were achieving sunk rates against fast & well protected warships below one per twenty sorties. That includes the large number of sorties expended searching without locating the enemy ships.

                The German AF sunk per sorties in 1939/40 seems to be somewhere north of 75 per, possiblly over 100. My research there was aimed at effectiveness vs cargo ship & I did not delve deeply into the warship side of it in those years.

                Only one GAF group had any real experince or training at anti ship attacks. The eyewitness descriptions I've read from aircrew show their assumptions about technique were frequently wrong. The dive bombing technique required additional skill vs moving targets, even slow targets. The GAF lacked any torpedo capability, and the skip bombing or "Swedish Turnip" techniques was confined to the single anti ship trained group.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  The hit rate with noticeable damage alls out at about one per twentyfive. This is fairly unimpressive against slow cargo ships with relatively low levels of AAA protection and crews unskilled at damage control. At their peak in mid 1942 the IJN carrier aircrews were achieving sunk rates against fast & well protected warships below one per twenty sorties. That includes the large number of sorties expended searching without locating the enemy ships.
                  In the sinking of HMS Repulse the Japanese missed with 19 torpedoes and 8 bombs before scoring a hit, Yorktowns dive bombers scored 3 hits out of 20-30 attacks so the raw ratio doesn't indicate as much as it might. But Yorktown does provide a interstign comparison- at full TO&E the ship had 34 dive bombers, the Luftwaffe had many times more than in Ju-87 and Ju-88 dive bombers. The 1 hit in 25 causing measurable damage with 200 planes attacking is virtually the same number of hits that the highly trained US pilots managed at Midway.



                  Only one GAF group had any real experince or training at anti ship attacks. The eyewitness descriptions I've read from aircrew show their assumptions about technique were frequently wrong. The dive bombing technique required additional skill vs moving targets, even slow targets. The GAF lacked any torpedo capability, and the skip bombing or "Swedish Turnip" techniques was confined to the single anti ship trained group.

                  IIRC during Dynamo the Luftwaffe had a hand in the sinking of 3 British, 1 Polish and 3 French destroyers, numerous smaller warships, damaged a further 9 British destroyers and sank 3 large vessels and 77 named vessels with a further 55 large or named vessels damaged.

                  Also as the Luftwaffe pilots attack, they get better, nothing beat experience.

                  That is a significant threat. Add in the losses from Norway and from non-Dynamo losses around the British islands and something like 1/4 of the destroyer force is sunk or damaged from May to July.

                  The RN risks attacks every time it sorties whether or not they catch the German transports. The single port plan pushed by Raider [possibly] removes the need for barges that wallow at 2 knots. I say possibly becuase I don't know for sure the plan didn't call for them, only that they were not used in Norway.

                  To help protect the RN, the RAF has to fight over water, and this is where its important. The Admiralty might be able to boast, "we have X numbers of destroyers left and all of our battleships..." The army can claim, " we will ahve this many divisions reequipped by Y date...." But if Fighter command comes to the government and says, "I am out of fighter pilots..." Defeat of the British becomes a very real possibility the government has to consider.

                  Just using the historic losses from the BoB, if the UK had been subjected to the same pilot loss ratio the Luftwaffe was, then Fighter Command would have gone belly up.

                  Ultimately, I think the Raider Plan could have gotten a sizable force across the channel and might have kept them supplied longer than the RAF could have covered the RN. I also think those troops would have waxxed ass on the local defenders.

                  Ultimately the battle hinges on 2 races. 1. who lasts longer the RAF/RN of the German transport fleet. RN assets based in the Thames Estuary are disadvantaged by the tides, and those from the East Coast face a strong threat from the air while the Western approaches are a true to life guantlet of pain they have to sail through. This all combines to limit mass at the point of decision on the part of the RN and allow mass at the point of decision by the Germans. Just maybe enough to allow the invasion to get ashore and sustain for a short time.

                  2. The second race is the build up of supplied formations in the Dover area vs the arrival of what armored reserves the UK has which include the bulk of the Matilda II's which might as well have been a tiger tank in 1940. Neither the paras AT rifles or 28mm AT guns nor the standard 37mm AT gun could touch it and the 88mm is too heavy to have been moved across in numbers. The obvious counter is the Ju-87 but if they are tasked wit anti-shipping operations there might not be enough of them to matter.
                  If the British can get the counter-attack at least half right the German's are in real trouble of facing cross channel swimming lessons.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zraver View Post
                    That is a myth, the Luftwaffe has by the end of June 1940 sunk a number of destroyers, damaged cruisers, sunk a number of larger non-armed vessels and over a 100 small vessels.
                    Hi

                    Nobody denies that the RN suffered losses at the hands of the LW, but many of those DD losses (especially) were while the vessels were maneuvering at slow speed or with confined waters. The examples of a DD being sunk/damaged whilst maneuvering at high speed are much much smaller.

                    Again nobody denies that the LW sunk a very large amount of smaller unarmed vessels, but if you read numerous accounts of the period you will see that the % attacked versus the % damaged let alone sunk is very small.

                    Also the LW had near zero intercept capability at night, so even though any invasion force would need 24/7 supply, they would have long periods where no supplies would get through.

                    The British had a much higher and effective mine laying and mine sweeper capability than the KM. The mine barrages would have taken several days of uninterrupted sweeping to clear, which is doubtful, given the environment it was happening in.

                    Regards
                    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ultimately the battle hinges on 2 races. 1. who lasts longer the RAF/RN of the German transport fleet. RN assets based in the Thames Estuary are disadvantaged by the tides, and those from the East Coast face a strong threat from the air while the Western approaches are a true to life guantlet of pain they have to sail through. This all combines to limit mass at the point of decision on the part of the RN and allow mass at the point of decision by the Germans. Just maybe enough to allow the invasion to get ashore and sustain for a short time.
                      Hi

                      There are several posts within several threads that have valuable information concerning the very dangerous tides, mud banks and sand bars that criss-cross the channel, and how the Germans would face timing issues to pass of these obstacles at the premium time. The RN assets will always out last the KM transport fleet unless your inc dingies in the KM transport fleet
                      In all the Seelowe threads and discussions I've been involved in, nobody denies that they (the Germans) could get across. However the state/quantity of those troops that do land has always been question, along with the ability or lack thereof for it to be sustained. The latter has never been adequately formulated by those who think it would have, unless the RN/RAF and Army went on holiday, suffered from blindness, whilst the Germans achieved everything and more, which the British could never do!

                      Regards
                      "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                      "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Andy H View Post
                        In all the Seelowe threads and discussions I've been involved in, nobody denies that they (the Germans) could get across. However the state/quantity of those troops that do land has always been question, along with the ability or lack thereof for it to be sustained. The latter has never been adequately formulated by those who think it would have, unless the RN/RAF and Army went on holiday, suffered from blindness, whilst the Germans achieved everything and more, which the British could never do!

                        Regards
                        That's what it all comes down to: you may get there but you can't stay. Just as in all military operations, logistics is the braking action of military plans. If you can't supply the troops, which I don't believe the Germans could, landing them on the beach is the same as throwing them away.
                        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Freightshaker View Post
                          That's what it all comes down to: you may get there but you can't stay. Just as in all military operations, logistics is the braking action of military plans. If you can't supply the troops, which I don't believe the Germans could, landing them on the beach is the same as throwing them away.
                          If you can't supply the troops for long enough for a political victory to be gained.

                          I don't pretend to know much detail in this area but my question would be: How long could / would the British hold out for in event of a large scale landing? Did they really have the ability to 'fight them on the beaches'?

                          With the mass of equipment already lost and the German myth of invincibility not yet shattered, is it probable that the British forces may well have routed quickly and a political solution sought?
                          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zraver View Post
                            That is a myth, the Luftwaffe has by the end of June 1940 sunk a number of destroyers, damaged cruisers, sunk a number of larger non-armed vessels and over a 100 small vessels.



                            Folkstone is a major harbor at the time, it was the primary shipping point for the men of the BEF in WWI. Numbers of men shipped, ships served, tonnage moved during WWI if a fairly direct transfer to 1940 mean the port in an undamaged state can handle at a minimum 52 vessels a day including at least two large ships (seen in period post cards possibly more), 6800 men a day, 733 tons of freight a day. The Port can handle a lot more than that on a short term basis as far as vessel and men go as Folkstone played a major role in Dynamo.
                            The inner harbour is obstructed bu a railway bridge and in any event is dry at low tide. The trade it was built for was crosschannel self loading cargo in any case the size of the vessels used determine the speed of unloading. Dependent on your timing of the landing in the year the RAF is either unscathed in the UK or can move reinforcements from the unengaged groups. Luftwaffe involvement is going to depend on the same timing the further on in tue year the landing is the less planes they have to play with. You also need to remember that the Stuka is less than a wondrous weapon against anything like determined opposition.

                            The RN probably won't manouver. They will make best possible speed to engage and given the lack of U boats they probably won't be spotted let alone engaged. It's not like with the first invasion in two hundred years or so happening that they are going to save them for the victory parade.

                            I might work as a large scale raid. But as a successful invasion not in my opinion as others have already said Folkestone will support some troops but not quite as many as would be needed to conquer the whole country and in any event with hightide access to one key only is of debatable us.
                            "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Andy H View Post
                              Hi

                              There are several posts within several threads that have valuable information concerning the very dangerous tides, mud banks and sand bars that criss-cross the channel, and how the Germans would face timing issues to pass of these obstacles at the premium time. The RN assets will always out last the KM transport fleet unless your inc dingies in the KM transport fleet
                              In all the Seelowe threads and discussions I've been involved in, nobody denies that they (the Germans) could get across. However the state/quantity of those troops that do land has always been question, along with the ability or lack thereof for it to be sustained. The latter has never been adequately formulated by those who think it would have, unless the RN/RAF and Army went on holiday, suffered from blindness, whilst the Germans achieved everything and more, which the British could never do!

                              Regards

                              Andy, all points I freely admit. The only real chance for a German victory hinge of the collapse of the British government either with the death of the RAF's Fighter Command, or a complete route of the counter-attack of the invasion beachhead. IF Churchill can stiffen them ultimate German defeat is almost assured.

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